Tevul Yom, Chapter One, Mishnah Four

 

Introduction

Today’s mishnah is the opposite of yesterday’s mishnah. It describes things that are attached to the loaf but are not considered connected to it for matters of impurity.

 

Mishnah Four

1)      A pebble in a loaf or a large globule of salt, or a lupine, or a burnt crust larger than a finger’s breadth—Rabbi Yose says: whatever is not eaten with the loaf remains clean even when touched by a father of impurity;  

2)      And it isn’t even necessary to say [is this so when touched] by a tevul yom. 

 

Explanation

Section one: A person eating a loaf of bread would pick these things out before eating the loaf. A “lupine” is a type of bean. One would not generally eat a lupine stuck onto his loaf of bread. If the piece of burnt crust is too big, he wouldn’t eat that either. He wouldn’t eat a pebble or a big lump of salt. Therefore, if even a “father of impurity,” meaning one with a very high level of impurity, touches this part of the loaf of terumah, the remainder stays pure. It is not considered connected to the loaf.

Section two: All the more so, if a tevul yom touches this part of the loaf, the rest stays pure.

Note how this mishnah is the opposite structure of yesterday’s mishnah. Today, since the loaf stays pure, the relationship of the clauses shifts—the tevul yom is less defiling than a father of impurity.  

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